D&D 5E Doctors & Daleks - Cubicle 7 Brings Doctor Who to D&D 5E

Cubicle 7 -- makers of the official Doctor Who roleplaying game -- has announced that the Doctor will officially be coming to 5E soon under the name Doctors and Daleks. There are no dates or details yet, over than that the Doctors and Daleks Player's Guide will launch 'soon'.

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A NEW COMPANION FOR YOUR ADVENTURES THROUGH ALL OF SPACE AND TIME!

The wild adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord comes to the world’s most popular roleplaying game in Doctors and Daleks. Take your gaming group into the TARDIS and travel anywhere, anywhen. Want to meet Leornado da Vinci? Or see what life is like in the year 3,000? What about another planet entirely? All of space and time is your Venusian macro-oyster, but keep your wits about you — there’s a lot of danger in the vastness of eternity.

We are delighted to announce that we are working on Doctors and Daleks – a new line of products that brings Doctor Who adventures to your table using 5th Edition rules! The first release – The Doctors and Daleks Player’s Guide will launch soon.

The wild adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord comes to the world’s most popular roleplaying game in Doctors and Daleks. Take your gaming group into the TARDIS and travel anywhere, anywhen.

We’ll also continue to support the new Second Edition of our award winning Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game, with a host of new products on the way soon!
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Micah Sweet

Legend
Nobody really knows for sure. WOTC did a study that says most campaigns don't reach that level, but then again, it could also be argued it's a self fulfilling loop. WOTC doesn't really support high level play (say past level 15) with adventures or other "epic tier" material. So is it that nobody wants to go that high, or they aren't doing it because there isn't really any material there for them to use.

The fact that those 3PP epic tier things are pretty successful (thinking of the Epic Legacy line) makes me think there is at least some demand.
I think it's developer bias. They don't play at high level during playtesting (much) or in their personal games. The lack of optional rules when they play among themselves supports this assertion. They always want to keep the game simple, and you can't do that at high levels.
 

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I think it's developer bias. They don't play at high level during playtesting (much) or in their personal games. The lack of optional rules when they play among themselves supports this assertion. They always want to keep the game simple, and you can't do that at high levels.
I think I may start a new thread about this so we don't continue to hijack this thread.
 


For you gaming ideal, what would each of the following tiers look like according to mechanics and feel (such as superhero or whatever)?

Levels of each tier:
9-12
13-16
17-20
21-24

I think the game is acceptably fine 9-12. There are some 5th and 6th level spells that are questionable, but by and large there isn't anything that bothers me.

The trouble is that non-primary spellcasters characters above level 12 still scale their normal combat abilities, but they do so in generally marginal ways. They still expect to solve problems with attack rolls, damage dice, rider effects, and skill checks.

Meanwhile, spellcasters warp reality. At level 13+, there are spells that allow wholly orthogonal solutions not just to encounters, but to whole adventures. They solve the game from the character sheet in anti-climactic and undramatic ways. I'm not a fan of essentially every high level spell as presented.

Frankly, I don't think the game wants to or should scale into comic book superhero levels. It's perfectly fine to want to play a game where the characters do that. I don't think it's D&D because non-primary spellcasters don't and never have. AD&D was built around domain management above name level. In other words, they told you to stop playing D&D. Only video games work in AD&D at high level because video games can limit player choice and force them into basically standard combat. In 3e and 5e both they've found that nobody plays the game at high level because it's (a) too hard to DM because of the spellcaster, and (b) not fun for non-primary spellcasters. 4e circumvented the issue and took levels 5 to 9 and spread them over 30 levels. I think it's well past time to just admit that high level casters don't fit in the game.

The real problem, is the spells above 6th level. From the PHB's 7th level spells:
  • Teleport. Far too potent for far too little cost. If any spell were a poster child for having an expensive material cost, it would be teleport. The lower level transport spells have their own somewhat onerous requirements, so I don't have much problem with them. Teleport is just too good. This effect as presented should never exist.
  • Resurrection (and True Resurrection). These probably need to exist, but I don't see much reason for them to not just be ways to cast Raise Dead with more expensive materials. 500gp for every 10 days the creature has been dead is fine. I just don't have a problem with death being a prohibitively expensive barrier to cross. I can't remember a single instance when these spells were necessary to a campaign except when a PC were disintegrated or turned to undead. Making Raise Dead just cost 5 or 10 times more in those cases seems fine. Further, I rather like the idea that you might need to visit the afterlife to communicate with people who died decades or centuries ago. Like... I don't know that I can even count the number of stories where visiting the afterlife is a major quest and story point. I feel like these spells rob the game of that. The more I think about it, I'm not even sure that Raise Dead should be a spell, per se. It should be an open ritual available to any class of sufficient level who knows the process.
  • Forcecage. This spell is dumb. It's way too good, and can be used to trivialize almost any high level encounter. And it's a CHA save for what reason? It does have an expensive material cost, but the spell doesn't say it consumes it so it basically doesn't really have an expensive material cost.
  • Plane Shift. Honestly, this is probably too high a level. The game does need a way for planar travel to occur, but I'm not convinced it should be a high level spell at all. Again, it feels like the game is robbing the players of something here. I feel like this spell in particular should be a ritual or process available to all PCs above 10th level (like Raise Dead). Yeah, it's magic. But the game shouldn't make all magic the sole purview of a few classes, especially when it's essential magic. It doesn't do that with skills or martial prowess anymore.
  • Simulacrum. This spell is dumb. It's primary purpose is abusive to the action economy and class design. I have no problem with a simulacrum being a type of construct that PCs can make, like an advanced homunculus or golem, especially for narrative purposes. It should never work like this spell does. Simulacrum should be an entry in the Monster Manual like golems are, and those entries should describe (roughly or in detail) how they are constructed.
The rest of the 7th level spells are either badly scaling fireballs with novel areas of effect, or spells that effectively replicate magic items, or spells that are so narrow that they basically don't exist.

There are no 8th level spells that need to exist. All of them from the PHB are either redundant (telepathy, glibness, clone), grossly too effective at solving problems (demiplane, mind blank, clone), or so narrow as to be nearly pointless (tsunami, clone). The only two I can imagine being salvageable are Animal Shapes and Control Weather, both of which could be open rituals or Druid class abilities. The rest of them I wish did not exist.

For 9th level spells, it's the same problem as 8th level. Redundant (astral projection, meteor swarm), grossly too effective (gate, shapechange), or so narrow as to be pointless (imprisonment, weird). There is one effect worth saving: Wish. Wish should probably be limited to 20th level PCs, and should basically only exist because it's D&D and the wish effect has to exist in D&D because it's D&D. I'd be perfectly happy with wish being a boon granted by major powers or magic items. The rest of the 9th level spells add nothing good to the game. They do not need to exist as generally available effects or abilities. Most of them could be made into magic items or open rituals, which then gives the PCs something to quest for if they need that power.

The types of challenges the above spells are built to solve don't exist in the Monster Manual. They don't exist in any Monster Manual. And the characters that don't have access to those spells have no means of solving those kinds of problems.

So I would take all the 7th through 9th level spells, with the exceptions noted above, and move them to epic level. They don't belong with the rest of the game. That means Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard need 3 new high level abilities at 13th, 15th, and 17th level. I'm inclined to make them feats or ASIs until I found something better for them to do.

I don't think that's a good design, but I think it's a better design with a better starting point than how 5e stands now. I think that makes high level play instantly more accessible for DMs.

Yes, this change does mean the game scales very slowly at higher levels. But it already does for the other classes! Attribute bonuses are uneven. For levels 1-10, most characters will go from +3 to +5 attribute bonus, and +2 to +4 proficiency bonus. +4 over 10 levels. Above level 10 (arguably above level 9), you get just another +2, so it's +2 over 10 levels. The game doesn't build in magic item bonuses anymore (nor should it) so this is the par. The game already slows down. Non-primary spellcaster already never truly reach tier 4.
 


I actually rather really liked that approach. One of my favorite things about 4e. I wish that had carried over into 5th.

I think it's a perfectly workable system. I don't think 30 levels was the right approach, though. That's just too much, especially when they split up the game so that you got a bonus on one level and new powers on another. It led to the hugely inflated HP values, which ended up being it's own problem. I don't think the core books should ever have more than 20 levels. I don't think the lockstep bonuses worked well, either. In general, though, I'd rather have 5e's bounded accuracy and 4e's narrowed scope of abilities.

Essentials was on the right path, but WotC abandoned the game. I think they should revive it as another game. 5e and 4e offer totally different play styles. Why should WotC be happy players unsatisfied with 5e want to go to Pathfinder 2? Why not let them go to 4e and stay a WotC customer? They ought to have the money to do it now.

A 4e style TTRPG with 5e proficiency bonus, 4e monsters, 4e combat rules, 4e defenses and stats, no enhancement bonuses from magic items, abilities on cards, preferably a companion app. Limit it to 20 levels. Call it Heroes of The Forgotten Realms. Just don't call it AD&D. The worst idea would be to have that stupid "Advanced" argument from the 80s again.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Essentials was on the right path, but WotC abandoned the game. I think they should revive it as another game. 5e and 4e offer totally different play styles. Why should WotC be happy players unsatisfied with 5e want to go to Pathfinder 2? Why not let them go to 4e and stay a WotC customer? They ought to have the money to do it now.
Wizards really has no need to cater to players unsatisfied with 5e at this point at all. Much like they don't have much need to cater to CCG fans who are dissatisified with MtG. The pool of players that are satisfied with each game is so large and their brands so everpresent that trying to chase every last customer is a fool's errand. There should be customers for the rest of the industry.

That said, I wish they'd open up 4e to be supported on DM's Guild. I know they'll never go all the way of creating an OGL version of 4e to put out there and it's hobbled by the GSL as far as trying to do support for it. But at least saying "yes you can publish stuff for 4e on DM's Guild" would be a nice approach.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
@Bacon Bits

If the noncasters shut down at level 12, then level 13 is "epic". So this seems like the level casters should start gaining powerful spells.

That said, I agree,

Wish should be a "slot 10" spell, and probably every caster should get it, bending reality according to various flavors. Psion is mind over matter, Bard is words shape reality. Cleric is miraculous creation. Etcetera.

Giving noncasters spells via rituals and magic items sounds good.

Planeshift needs to be 2 slots lower.

Telepathy needs to be a slot 2 spell.

Legend Lore is merely something the History skill check can do. Glibness is the Deception skill check.

Redundant spells need a cleanup.

Generally high slot spells need a clean up.

Teleport Circle is like an airport and works fine, and once built, noncasters can use them too.

The reallife stories of visiting the dead in the underworld are simply places in the Material where the veil between it and Shadowfell are thin. It is like a negative Fey crossing. Noncasters can pass thru a Shadow crossing easily enough.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
That said, I wish they'd open up 4e to be supported on DM's Guild. I know they'll never go all the way of creating an OGL version of 4e to put out there and it's hobbled by the GSL as far as trying to do support for it. But at least saying "yes you can publish stuff for 4e on DM's Guild" would be a nice approach.
Has it not been retrocloned by anybody? Seems like the sort of thing somebody would do.
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
Has it not been retrocloned by anybody? Seems like the sort of thing somebody would do.
4e's in a weird space because it's technically still available but unsupported. Because you can still buy all of the books in PDF on DriveThru.

So a lot of the retroclones tend to be 4e+ where each cloner has fixed somethings they thought were broken in 4e because making a pure clone is not as necessary. I don't think there's a pure 4e retroclone out there (or if there is I haven't found it yet). But that also means that there's no way to build a community of support for new 4e products because you're still tied to the GSL if you want to go that route.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
A lot of those looks like systems based on or inspired by 4E, but I'm not seeing any direct retroclones there (unless I'm missing it?)
Huh, I guess you're right. It looks like a couple got close to a OSRIC like restatement of the game but made some changes or were incomplete. We now know that OSRIC was ultimately unnecessary to create AD&D compatible modules, but at the time nobody was sure about the limits of the OGL. I wonder if because of the GSL, a 4e OSRIC would be necessary to really make truly 100% compatible 4e content instead?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
@Bacon Bits

The way to make rituals accessible is to require skill checks to perform them. Thus, both the Wizard and the Fighter use the Arcana skill to perform the Detect Magic spell as a ritual.

Thus. Every ritual has a chance of failure. A Wizard can optionally spend a spell slot to cast it.

Probably the DC for the check to perform a skill check is a number equal to 10 + the spell points of the spell. See the DMs Guide. The DC will range from 12 to 23 depending on the slot level of the spell. (Albeit the spells themselves require a cleanup to reevaluate which slot level each belongs in.) Ones character level must be at least twice the slot level to perform it.

The "Ritual Caster" feature and feat no longer exist. Anyone with proficiency in the Arcana skill qualifies as a Ritual Caster.



Possibly different skills are responsible for different rituals. So Animal Handling does rituals relating to animals. Medicine healing rituals. Nature does rituals relating to earth, air, fire, water, and plants. Religion handles any astral plane spells. Insight mind-effect rituals. Arcana only performs rituals relating to ether, force, and magic itself. But one needs Arcana to be able to perform a ritual in the first place, tho the check might need an other skill.
 
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darjr

I crit!
A 4e retro clone would allow places like Roll20 to sell new core rules and such. Which I dint think they do? Can you buy 4e content on the various VTTs?
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I wonder if because of the GSL, a 4e OSRIC would be necessary to really make truly 100% compatible 4e content instead?
I'd be very leery of publishing anything 4e related without consulting a lawyer because of the GSL. I've actually thought at times about using the 5e SRD to recreate 4e as much as can be possibly done, but I usually decide I'd rather work on my own 13th Age hacks than dive into trying to rebuild 4e. Especially given that first sentence where I'd want to talk to a lawyer if I wanted to sell anything even as a hobbyist because even though Wizards has no real interest in "protecting" the 4e rules anymore, the GSL is still just sitting there like a landmine waiting to go off.
 

@Bacon Bits

If the noncasters shut down at level 12, then level 13 is "epic". So this seems like the level casters should start gaining powerful spells.

I'm not sure I follow that logic. If non-casters stop scaling, but casters go epic, why does that mean the game is epic? We haven't done anything to make non-casters epic.

Telepathy needs to be a slot 2 spell.

I just think it's redundant with Rary's telepathic bond (5th).

Legend Lore is merely something the History skill check can do. Glibness is the Deception skill check.

Glibness isn't much better than enhance ability (eagle's splendor). Not such that it demands it's own spell to overcome the limitations of enhance ability.

Redundant spells need a cleanup.

Generally high slot spells need a clean up.

Teleport Circle is like an airport and works fine, and once built, noncasters can use them too.

Word of Recall, Wind Walk, Tree Stride, Summon Steed, Transport via Plants, etc. There are so many spells already that enhance travel speeds. The game doesn't really benefit that much from a super power like Teleport existing.

There are so many spells that just boggle my mind for why they exist. Speak with dead? Zone of truth? Find the path? True seeing (for an hour without concentration)? Knock? If this is a game about going on adventures and telling stories and overcoming challenges, what kind of stories are you going to tell with these effects if you can overcome so many standard narrative obstacles with spells? It's just weird. It's like they're a walking deus ex machina. "I just cast a spell that unloads Chekhov's gun."

It feels like they just dumped in all the spells that people remember without thinking what role that spell was supposed to play in the game. Especially compared to how PCs that don't have those effects have to overcome them. When you get to 7th and higher level spells, it's really clear that at no point did make these pretty simple design considerations.

The reallife stories of visiting the dead in the underworld are simply places in the Material where the veil between it and Shadowfell are thin. It is like a negative Fey crossing. Noncasters can pass thru a Shadow crossing easily enough.

Sure, but the trouble with that is that it's 100% up to the DM. The PCs -- all PCs above some arbitrary level -- need to be able to have enough control to be able to traverse the planes at the player's choice, not just because the DM decides the story should go that way. But the way the game is written, you must have a wizard or cleric to do that. If a party of fighters wants to find a long dead monarch, they have travel to the afterlife to talk to them. But a wizard or a cleric makes that even easier, too.

I'm not saying that wizards and clerics can't have spells that do things fighters can't. But if the game can be about travelling the planes -- and I think that at high level it should be -- then the game shouldn't de facto require certain classes to accomplish that and should otherwise be DM fiat. If a high level fighter wants to rescue his true love from the pits of Gehenna, then it shouldn't be orders of magnitude more complicated for them to do it than a spellcaster. And the solution shouldn't be "find a spellcaster".
 

I'd be very leery of publishing anything 4e related without consulting a lawyer because of the GSL. I've actually thought at times about using the 5e SRD to recreate 4e as much as can be possibly done, but I usually decide I'd rather work on my own 13th Age hacks than dive into trying to rebuild 4e. Especially given that first sentence where I'd want to talk to a lawyer if I wanted to sell anything even as a hobbyist because even though Wizards has no real interest in "protecting" the 4e rules anymore, the GSL is still just sitting there like a landmine waiting to go off.

Yeah, the GSL was the reason that there was so little third party content, and I can't imagine anyone would want to rely on the Berne convention alone to publish a clone. That license did exactly what WotC intended it to do: build a wall around 4e.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I'd be very leery of publishing anything 4e related without consulting a lawyer because of the GSL. I've actually thought at times about using the 5e SRD to recreate 4e as much as can be possibly done, but I usually decide I'd rather work on my own 13th Age hacks than dive into trying to rebuild 4e. Especially given that first sentence where I'd want to talk to a lawyer if I wanted to sell anything even as a hobbyist because even though Wizards has no real interest in "protecting" the 4e rules anymore, the GSL is still just sitting there like a landmine waiting to go off.
Yeah, I mean, in theory, as long as you avoid using the protected terms in the GSL you could make an OGL version of 4e couldn't you? Game mechanics aren't protect by IP law, so as long as you state the mechanics in a unique fashion from 4e and avoid the product identity stuff, you should be good?
 


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